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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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tical military understanding achieved on the spot was not supported by
any normal political agreement. The Soviets, who had been unable to
subordinate the Polish forces from the top through diplomatic channels,
were now in the position of acquiring what they had desired, from the
bottom., and, after carrying out their usualc purge,5 could then use these
men, not only in the battle but as a formidable instrument to wield against
th e Polish Government.
The Army Corps created in the U.S.S.R., with the Soviet's General
Berling as its Commander, was put forth by Moscow as a further and
important proof of her willingness to set Poland up as a c free country'
once more. This unit was developed into an Army under Soviet
command as soon as it reached Polish soil and, cut off from its own
Polish Government, it was used as a political factor against that Govern-
ment. If Moscow spoke plainly., she could have said: c You in
London and Washington have your own Polish Army and we have ours.
Let us see which will be the stronger in the decisive moment! **
All that the world could learn regarding this ' Soviet-Polish force ' was
gleaned from the Russian statements. At any rate, it was a force ruled
by laws exercised by the N.K.V.D.—unusual to the Poles as to every
Westerner. On May 9 (Russian censorship saw nothing strange in re-
leasing this news to the World Press), the British Union Press correspondent
cabled that, in this Army, young Polish girls had been ordered to execute
the men. He cited an instance where an execution squad was composed
of girls, one of whom was 17, another 20. Armed with tommy-guns,
they had shot a Pole who had c refused to go to the front.*
According to statements issued by the Russians, the c Polish Army in
the U.S.S.R.* had been formed from the " civilian refugees who had fled
before the Germans, and whom it had not previously been found ex-
pedient to transfer, or whose application to join General Anders' Army
had been rejected on political grounds."f
Civilian refugees meant deportees who had been forbidden by the
Russian authorities on * political grounds/ or merely for no reason at all,
to join General Anders* Army. General Anders himself did not refuse
* The oath taken by the soldiers in the Soviet Polish Army in the U.S.S.R. was
worth noting.
The Soviet paper Nozue Widnokregi^ November 22nd3 19433 quoted it as follows :
cc I solemnly swear to the Polish soil, dark with blood3 to the Polish nation,
tortured under German oppression that I shall be worthy of the Polish name3 and
that I shall faithfully serve my Fatherland."
T&is oath was entirely different to that taken in any other army. There was
(1) no mention of God's name , (2) no mention of the Polish State; (3) nor of the
independence and integrity of Poland; (4) no word regarding the President of the
Republic^ the legal Polish authorities, the Polish laws or the Polish Army.
The oath instituted by the Soviets could be interpreted in many ways, but as the
question of Polish independence had been omitted, the phrases * Polish soil' and
* Fatherland * could only be abstract ones,
t The Times, April llth and 16th, 1944.